Belfast Telegraph

Harvey Norman enjoys sales rise despite difficult six months for high street

Furniture and electronic goods retailer Harvey Norman has managed to grow sales locally despite the difficult economic conditions.

Like-for-like sales in Northern Ireland jumped by 4.2% in the last six months of 2010 while sales in the Republic climbed 2.6%.

Blaine Callard, chief executive of operations in Ireland, said consumer confidence was hit hard during the last half of the year.

"During this period we had the European bailout, a full account of the Irish banking losses, and another tough budget," he said. "On top of all that, severe weather dampened consumer spending in December."

On a global basis, sales for the group rose 1.3% to A$3.31bn (£2bn) but fell 3.1% on a like-for-like basis.

The company said furniture and bedding franchisees continue to grow revenue and market share despite the industry experiencing a slowdown in line with the weakened housing market.